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Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery--Typhoon Hagibis

by Peace Winds America
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery--Typhoon Hagibis
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery--Typhoon Hagibis
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery--Typhoon Hagibis
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery--Typhoon Hagibis
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery--Typhoon Hagibis
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery--Typhoon Hagibis
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery--Typhoon Hagibis
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery--Typhoon Hagibis
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery--Typhoon Hagibis
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery--Typhoon Hagibis
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery--Typhoon Hagibis
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery--Typhoon Hagibis
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery--Typhoon Hagibis
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery--Typhoon Hagibis

The 18 month mark has passed from the massive landslides, and a little less than half of the residents in temporary housing are still there, not ready yet to move back to their "home" in Kure-city, south-western part of Hiroshima prefecture.

Most of the ex-residents who "graduated" from temporary housings are relatively young families, who could afford to rebuild or settle in new places earlier. The residents remaining are mostly elder, living by themselves or with their partners. They are waiting for public housing to be constructed and provided by Kure-city, which is expected to be this spring.

Partnering with a local NGO, Peace Winds has provided wind shields for entrances and wooden-prefabricated shelves which can be assembled as needed to make life comfortable for those remaining in temporary housing.

Winter is the season for orange in Japan. Mud-washed orange fields turned from green to yellow. "One more winter," they say. After the winter when spring has come, their new houses will be ready and they will be able to resettle finally.

Our partners in Mabi including Soul (Non Profit Organization called "Gorilla") visited Saga for hot meal distribution. Each night remaining in the evacuation shelter brings shared anxieties, despair, but hope for the future.The Mabi team provided dinners "as usual", including something warm and as well as several dishes.One of the participants from Mabi told us that, " this has been a great opportunity for me. I feel I could tell them that we are now OK after one year of disaster. Which should be a hope for them." Finally when Mabi team was leaving Saga, a old lady came to them saying thank you with tears.

Thanks you for your generous support of this important relief work!

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On October 12, 2019, the massive Super Typhoon Hagibis made landfall in Japan. With violent winds and unprecedented amounts of rainfall—more than three feet in 24 hours in some locations—the typhoon caused destruction across a widespread area. The flooding and landslides that followed caused the evacuation of 230,000 homes. Hagibis arrived on the heels of a destructive year in Japan. It was the fourth major rainfall disaster in 14 months.

As of November 1, the death toll passed 80 and 216 were injured. More than 3,000 remain evacuated. Many barriers are slowing recovery, including muddy roads and lack of electricity, including to hospitals.

Peace Winds continues to assist those displaced by the typhoon, from managing evacuation shelters to providing medical aid, essential items like linens and bedding, and emergency medical kits. The Peace Winds medical team is helping move hospitalized patients from Nagano’s Rehabilitation Center which is flooded and out of electricity. Another hospital, Sanikukai Clinic (in Toyonomachi, Nagano prefecture), is still out of electricity, and many patients are waiting to be transported to safer hospitals. Peace Winds will continue to help these patients relocate and meet their needs.

We continue to monitor the needs of displaced people, especially women, children, and the elderly. This project will assist those who have lost their homes and those who cannot yet return.

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In late August, torrential rains triggered floods and landslides in Saga and Fukaoka Prefectures.  The City of Saga seen in the photo was heavily hit.  The government authorities of the Fire and Disasters Management Agency ordered more than 900,000 people to evacuate their homes.

Peace Winds quickly responded with emergency relief and moving evacuees to centers, supplying the centers with food and water, and air conditioning fans.  Now Peace Winds is aiding by cleaning houses, and helping people, who are able, return to their homes.   Peace Winds is providing linens, kitchen utensils, and small appliances.

Until the late summer floods, natural disasters had been infrequent in 2019, in contrast to 2018.  Peace Winds has been focusing on disaster preparedness in the Western Japan.  Though Japan is one of the most disaster prepared nations, Peace Winds continues to work with officials, communities, schools, and individuals providing preparedness training, construction skills/techniques, and mobility/escape methods and routes.   

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2016 - 2019

Peace Winds assisted over 1,500 families living in temporary housing complexes. The stress of temporary housing–including small accommodations, limited privacy, reduced access to resources, and the uncertainty of moving out–is overwhelming. Vulnerable populations such as the elderly are at even greater risk for health issues.

Peace Winds worked with communities in hosting weekly community events and social activities to “build community” and to prevent isolation, as well as provided mental health counseling. Peace Winds supported local township leaders in each of the 24 temporary housing communities through training and administrative costs to meet the needs of the residents.  Peace Winds will continue providing pet-friendly environments and ensure the animals get the care and attention needed for their recovery as well.

In April 2016, two devastating earthquakes shook Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture. Peace Winds responded immediately to assist survivors, dispatching a search-and-rescue team, setting up temporary shelters and tents, and delivering relief supplies, including food, water, medicine, and hygiene kits.

PWA blogs highlighted Peace Winds response from April 2016 search-and-rescue to the training of community township leaders, from construction of tents to temporary housing, from dispatching household appliances to rescuing pets and building animal shelters.

 Through the remainder of programming, Peace Winds was committed to the 1,500 families of the Mashiki-Kumamoto temporary housing complex. Peace Winds continues to collaborate with the 24 township leaders, the social and mental health counselors, the activity managers, the pet shelters, and the elderly–providing care to ensure long-term recovery.

A special thanks to the individual and business donors that contributed to the success of our programming. We would like to specifically recognize the Kumamoto Kenjin Kai of Seattle for their invaluable support to these communities. 

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Peace Winds' evacuation center
Peace Winds' evacuation center

Peace Winds has been actively implementing recovery efforts in Japan after the Kumamoto earthquakes in April 2016. The City as well as the whole of Japan lie within the Ring of Fire: an area outlining the Pacific Ocean Basin notorious for frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.  In addition, the region is disaster-prone, susceptible to year-round flash floods, landslides and typhoons.

 Peace Winds continues its work in aiding more than 1,500 families currently living in temporary housing. To date, projects have prioritized providing families with basic necessities including adequate shelter, clean water and food. Due to the nature of the Kumamoto earthquakes, Peace Winds provided critical medical assistance to residences affected by the disaster as well as established a mobile medical clinic for immediate and consistent care, an evacuation center for future use and provided vehicles to be utilized for future evacuations and transport of medicines and patients. Counseling and therapeutic services have also been integrated into programming for sustained recovery efforts.

 This established infrastructure provided life-saving care again during the 2018 floods and typhoons. During the earthquake of 2018 in Hokkaido, Peace Winds also provided similar services including search and rescue teams followed by immediate medical and relief assistance. In this disaster, we continue to assist families who lost their homes in accompanied mudslides.  

 Peace Winds has implemented programming to boost morale and build community through hosting community building activities and celebrations during Christmas and New Years holiday season. We have  targeted programs that engage senior citizens as these individuals are increasing vulnerable during disasters. Efforts to strengthen community bonds included scheduled home visits, providing tea and snacks as well as hosting activities like karaoke sessions. Most recently in November, Peace Winds also provided funding for two animal shelters, the Nishihara Cat Village and the JyotofullDog Shelter. During recent disasters, many residents with animals were not able to keep them within their temporary housing, so Peace Winds stepped in to provide services that included aiding two shelters, training staff and volunteers as well as provided food, grooming and training services. We believe these animals provide crucial emotional support to those affected by the disasters and are critical to long-term recovery efforts. 

Peace Winds has raised more than $90,000 USD to fund relief efforts having reached and raised our fundraising goals twice due to your generous donations! We appreciate your continued support as we bridge the Pacific to serve the communities of Kumamoto and beyond.

Staff hand out supplies to community members
Staff hand out supplies to community members
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Organization Information

Peace Winds America

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @PWAmerica
Project Leader:
Chuck Aanenson
Seattle, WA United States

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